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Head on a swivel

August 13, 2010

Hello from the hinterlands! It’s Day 4 of The Great Disappearance, where I can supposedly take my BlackBerry off the hook (it’s an old expression–ask your parents) and spend two weeks living like a druid. Rise when it’s light, eat when I’m hungry, conduct pagan goat sacrifices right before bed, that sort of thing.

Thanks to the Internet, however, I can prairie-dog up from my blissful ignorance and write a quick post about single parenting. Um… hooray?

I’m here to tell you that, as challenging as single parenthood is, this is anything but misery. I bring the boys up here to escape the city heat and bestow them with the tan lines, foot calluses, and bug bites that all Boys of Summer deserve. Plus, there are all sorts of relatives to share the burden of engagement. Uncles to throw footballs, nanas to play Go Fish, and cousins to help build colonies of fiddler crabs. Pretty soon, we lose all track of “days” and “hours,” and just exist together. There ain’t nothing Awesomer.

That said, there are also times like this, when I’m home alone with the boys and poking away at this stupid handheld while they rightly pester the bejeezus out of me. It would be easy to lament this situation and pine for a two-parent family with a set policy for division of labor. But the fact is, I can name about a dozen married couples who almost never see each other and have thus become de facto single parents. It’s become an epidemic, wedded or not.

Guess what! My sons have remembered the time exists and are counting off every minute that I’m wasting their vacation. So I’m going to cut this short and go back underground. Plus, we have to get to the goat farm before it closes at Dark Time.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda permalink
    August 13, 2010 5:19 pm

    It’s the best! My husband doesn’t often have the luxury to come on vacation with me so I take the boys and we go it alone. Except we aren’t really alone because there are aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins and summertime friends who are all the sweeter because it’s only 10 days out of the year. I get a little breathing time spent marveling at how awesome they all are and how wonderful it is that my kids are fully immersed in summertime magic.

  2. August 13, 2010 7:45 pm

    My favorite line from Anchorman. I frequently say it as my driving teen boys leave the house. “Keep your head on a swivel!”

  3. August 14, 2010 9:19 am

    I’ve been worrying about single parenting, since my husband and I have just started (this month!) to figure out how to separate…. I just realized after reading this post that we’re ALREADY doing it…I stay home with them all day, put dinner on the table, then we divide up for various sporting events. I can’t remember the last time we all did something absolutely together and at the same time. Very sad, when you think about it. But also a relief to know we can handle single parenting.

  4. liza permalink
    August 17, 2010 1:00 pm

    You make a great point about married couples being de facto single parents. My ten year old was jsut observing this morning that since dad now has a live-in girlfriend, he now has more time with two simultaneous parent-type-figures than he did when we were married.

    And what about the fun of having a vacation that *you* want, and not having to figure out if you boring the toenails off your spouse or if she’ll ever let you come back? The kids will always let you come back…

  5. monica permalink
    August 23, 2010 11:36 am


    Love the new blog – and am glad that you two can be grown up enough to collaborate. Unfortunately this appears to be a rare thing for divorced parents.

    Now, ummmm I just wanted to make a comment on the use of the term “single parent”. I am actually on a bit of a crusade ’bout this. I am a single mom by choice and am truly a single parent – there is no one else to parent my kids but me. You two are divorced parents – not single parents – you may now each be “single”, but someone else makes the big decisions about your kids lives with you, someone else has them for half their lives etc….I know that this is probably sounding a bit picky, but give the growing number of women (and men!) who are becoming parents on their own, I thought it was worth noting the difference.

    Thanks and good luck!!!

    PS- LOD- I would love to know where that rope swing was- I have been trying to find one like that for years! Live in MA and go to NH often- would make a special trip to find a swing like that….

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